Tag Archives: Windows

RemoteApp and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

I have been playing with VDI recently. It’s an interesting concept that is as old as the hills. For this specific application I’m trying to coax an old DOS application to continue working well past it’s sell by date. I have implemented a vsphere stack with a 2008 server along with a bunch of 32bit desktops for this single 16bit application. It seems overkill but it actually works well via RDP (with a carefully crafted window size.)

Whilst I was installing and configuring the server it reminded me that there is minimal client side configuration required. In fact if the workstations were not being used to run Office and other thick apps I would consider using thin clients or some Linux variant to connect to the server. It’s a taste of the “good old days” when people liked to have their servers locked away in air conditioned rooms and accessed via green screen terminals.

To be fair this DOS application isn’t much more advanced than the old green screens. It seems a shame to waste modern hardware on such a beast but I’m advised that replacement costs are a minimum of 6 figures. As such a single box holding the server AND workstations (with suitable backup) is a cheap and dirty solution to running 16bit programs on 64bit hardware.

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Windows server 2003

I recently had an “opportunity” to install Windows Server 2003. Not 2008 or even 2003 R2, but plain ol’ 2003. It got me to thinking, what on earth do they ACTUALLY need this software for? File sharing? User accounts? DHCP? All in all, apart from the very base networking stuff, all the services traditionally offered by server OS’s have migrated to the cloud. In this particular instance there is nothing that the company would loose by moving all the workstations to chrome os. Yes they would need an ISP upgrade, but the saving on hardware would more than make up for that. User accounts are combined with email accounts and services like Google docs can replace file sharing.

The future will be an interesting place, and I wonder if Microsoft will keep up with the change or become the next IBM.